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Durham University

Counselling Service

Private Counselling and Psychotherapy

You may feel that a longer-term intervention would be best suited to your needs, and decide to secure private counselling or psychotherapy. You may be confused by what the difference is between different professionals.

In the UK this is a rather grey area; there is often an overlap in training and practice. Psychological therapy can be offered by counsellors, psychotherapits and psychologists.

Counsellors and Psychotherapists are non-medical professionals. They have undertaken specialist training and will be registered with either the British Association for Counsellors and Psychotherapists (BACP) or the UK Council for Psychotherapy (UKCP). A psychotherapy training is usually a longer training, and will be structured as more of treatment but in practice the models are very similar. There are a variety of different approaches that counsellors and psychotherapists take and information is available on the national websites. The practitioner should be clear in their own marketing about the approach they will take.

Clinical and Counselling Psychologists have undertaken training to Doctorate level, but they are not medical doctors. Psychologists will be registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. They may also have trained in a variety of psychological therapy models.

The most important factor within any therapeutic relationship is the quality of that relationship, and for you to have confidence in your practitioner. Do not commit to any further sessions until you have had the initial consultation and know you feel able to work with the therapist. It’s okay to try another therapist if you are not comfortable. It is important that you have an initial assessment before you commit to any further sessions. You may want to visit more than one practitioner. You need to feel comfortable in their presence and have confidence that their approach and style will meet your needs. Always ensure that the practitioner is fully accredited and registered with a governing body. All practitioners should be transparent about costs and cancellation policies.

Follow the link below to help you choose a therapist that suits you.

Links to other therapy organisations:

Private Counsellor or Psychotherapist:

Psychologist or Counselling Psychologist: